Terriers Repel Rodents and 9 other Organic Gardening Tips and Tricks
Here are a few organic solutions to control pests in your garden. I have used all of these methods with great success.
1) Leave saucers of water near plants. Since I started doing this, the squirrels no longer bite into my tomatoes on a hot day. A lot of people think the squirrels are being total assholes for biting into their tomatoes and leaving the rest of it on the vine to rot. They’re just thirsty and they want the juice. OK, they are sorta being total assholes, but it’s not personal. If you leave water in clay saucers in several spots in your yard, they won’t mess with your crops as much, unless they are really hungry. The dishes of water will also give the lizards and snakes a drink, and these guys help control pests. Birds need water too and eat a lot of bugs. If you add dishes of water on the ground, and get a birdbath and keep it filled, you will see a vast improvement in pest control.
2) We used to have a rodent problem, but now we have Terriers. Terriers like to chase critters. It’s their favorite hobby. Get a lovely Terrier from the Animal Rescue, and encourage him or her to chase away rodents.
I have several solutions for killing bugs on plants.
3) Soapy water in a spray bottle. Squirt about 1 tsp dish soap into a spray bottle, fill the rest of the way with water, shake it up and spray it on the undersides of the leaves where the bugs like to congregate. This kills whiteflies, aphids and bugs like that.
4) Another way to get rid of bugs is to sprinkle worm castings on the soil. They sell it in bags at the Nursery. This is a repellant and not a bug killer. It also helps to fertilize the plants, so I like to use this as much as possible. Good for repelling whitefly.
5) If it’s a slug / snail problem, you can make beer traps to kill them. Bury a small container like a yogurt cup up to soil level in any area of the garden where you see plant damage from Slugs and Snails, usually indicated by massive holes chewed in your Chard or greens. Pour some beer into the cup. They will go in and drown. They like beer more than they like to eat plants. So does everybody. You will find a lot of dead slugs and snails in the cup the next day. Dump it out and repeat until you get rid of those bastards. Warning: A container full of dead slugs and snails is completely disgusting. Not for the squeamish.
6) Another way to get rid of the slugs and snails is with Beneficial Snails, called decollate snails, sold in the refrigerator case at the nursery or home improvement store. The good snails eat the baby destructive snails, but don’t eat your crops, because they would rather eat the meaty other slug and snails. This way is good because you pit creature against creature and let them duke it out amongst themselves, thereby eliminating the feeling that you are a bug murderer.
7) Praying Mantis’ and Ladybugs eat bad bugs too, and won’t damage your garden. They sell these guys at the nursery too, in the refrigerator case. Release them at night after a thorough watering of the area where you will release them. They are more likely to stick around if they have a cool drink of water once they get released from their container. I like this method a lot because it’s fun to see the Ladybugs and to be surprised by the occasional freaky-as-hell-looking Praying mantis. Don’t spray any soapy water on your beneficial bugs.
8) Another solution for slugs and snails is Iron Phosphate, which is organic, (it’s just Iron & Phosphorous), they sell it in canisters, usually called Sluggo. But this product will also kill your Decollate snails, so don’t use it if you’re trying to establish beneficials in your garden.
9) Garlic repels most bugs, but doesn’t really kill them unless it’s a strong enough solution. But a very strong garlic solution will also burn your plants.
10) Marigolds repel bugs. Plant them with tomatoes, peppers, squash.